Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Paradox of Choice

Perhaps as humanity progresses further into seemingly greater heights of modernity and post-industrialization that brings forth along with it unending choices and options which at face-value appears to provide better conditions of life, yet that in itself presents a paradox wherein with the abundance of such choices and options creates an outcome where we are far less happier and peaceful with ourselves and our environment.

Consider the affluence of the local society here in Singapore, exposed to amongst the latest technologies and gadgets as well as trends and modern culture - yet on the other hand have in ourselves become a society that far less treasure values, ethics and principles. Perhaps a greater study and research needs to be undergone to come to such a conclusion however one find it hard to deny and ignore, of the yet existing and rising number of maladies and issues sprouting in every aspect and scale.

With the increase of choice in our daily life, does it provide an increase satisfaction or the complete opposite - a dissatisfaction? Consider with the stereos systems, laptops, PDAs and new fast cars in our possessions; does it bring forth a sense of sufficiency or does it lead us to question and asking ourselves - what more?

In all these material possession, accolades or achievement - does it bring about a tranquil? Base on the presentation by Prof. Schwartz it seems the answer is no. If so, what does lead to that tranquil?

Perhaps it's a question of the age old cliche: the pasture is greener on the other side? Perhaps what we need is a balance? But is that ever possible?

However it is interesting that Prof. Schwartz highlights that like the fish trapped in the liberal-less tank that seems to shackle a sense of freedom however paradoxically in it lies its very own survival, that to destroy that limit by removing it from that environment would prove incredibly disastrous.

I can't help but to ponder that moral ethics, principles, teachings and values that comes through philosophical and religious practice, which for some might seem too abstract and impractical or idealistic, unfashionable and rigid; is the very limit that keeps up to that balance. Removing one of these means to remove one of his or her balance - and like the analogy of the fish, towards disaster.

So what's your fish tank?


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